Ornamental Grasses

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Ornamental or perennial grasses have many garden uses, not only are they graceful additions to any style of garden, but they add texture and sound, especially some of the larger ones which rustle in the wind.

Miscanthus var. garden.jpg


There are hundreds of perennial grasses with high ornamental value to choose from, some of which offer year round interest, but all can be used to soften the look of hard landscaping, as a focal point or center piece in borders, or as an accent plant and look equally good in containers as well.

Penn Rubrum 1.jpg



A very popular and great favorite for many people is Pennisetum or Fountain grass, which is loved not only for its graceful vase like shape, but also because there are so many varieties to choose from in terms of size and color, with more and more being introduced each year, and three well worth looking out for in 2014 are

Cherry Sparkler

PEN cherry sparkler.jpg


Skyrocket

Penn. Skyrocket - Coreopsis - Route 66.jpg


and Fireworks

Penn 'Fireworks' 1.jpg



As I said there are absolutely hundreds of different varieties of ornamental grasses to choose from, which range from those with variegated foliage to those with stunning seedheads and those with amazing colors.

I will add more some more stunning grasses to this thread, but if you are already growing them or are thinking of doing so, please add your favorites, with or without a picture, so that there is plenty of choice, for anyone wishing to grow them or to inspire others, to grow these rewarding plants
 
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I don't grow ornamental grass, but I really love it! I love how artistic and romantic it looks. I find it gorgeous!:D
Cherry Sparkler reminds me of Furby toys, lol:LOL:. The Fireworks is beautiful!
Personally, I love Pampas Grass, it's very tall and fluffy. Here are some pictures of it:

Pampas+Grass+3.JPG


8235609422_74e7ed6e16_z.jpg
 
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Claudine

The pictures are lovely, and would definitely agree with you that Pampas grass is always an eye catching sight, and is often seen in coastal regions, I too, really love those fluffy plumes, especially as they always look so irresistibly stroke-able :D

Do you like the other varieties as well like the variegated one called

Silver Comet

pampas silver comet.JPG


or some of the pink varieties

pampas pink 2.jpg


or maybe some of the dwarf varieties

Pampas dwraf.jpg


which of course are ideal for those who have limited space, especially as Pampas grass can get really quite large.

Out of curiosity and especially as I haven't heard of them before - what are Furby toys ?
 
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Here is a picture of a Furby toy:D:p:

Furby.jpg


They're as fluffy as ornamental grass, this is why it reminded me of them. Also, their shape is quite similar to the shape of the Cherry Sparkler in the picture that you posted:p

I'm in love with pink varieties of Pampas grass! I thought that plumes are always white.

It's amazing how enormous this grass is:

2800-pampas-grass-full-shot-224x300.jpg


pampas.jpg


It's almost as high as the house!
 
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Claudine

Oh I really like the look of Furby Toys they look so soft and fluffy, and just so incredibly cute, and although I can see how the Furbies could easily be compared to Pampas Grass in terms of fluffiness, am having great difficulty trying to find a resemblance between ' Cherry Sparkler ' and the Furby in your picture, apart from fluffiness :D

I also think Pink Pampass is lovely and wish more people would plant it, but it is mostly the white variety that is seen in peoples gardens, which is a great shame, especially as it comes in many shades of pink and then of course there are all the variegated forms as well, which I actually prefer.:)

Oh yes, they can get really, really enormous, and I've seen them even bigger than the ones in your last pictures, which is why I think the dwarf varieties are becoming very popular.
 
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Well, the Cherry Sparkler in the picture looks like it had ears, lol:p Or maybe it's just my twisted imagination:p
But back to the subject, I would love to grow enormous Pampas Grass, the bigger, the better:D I love big plants.

Here is a beautiful picture of Maiden Grass:

DSCN0769.JPG
 
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Claudine

:D I've kept having a look at 'Cherry Sparkler' but still can't quite make out the ears.:LOL:

Now that you've mentioned Maiden Grass, you are going to, as they say, have me going off on one, as Miscanthus Sinensis also known as Japanese Silver grass is to me, one of the most stunning grasses around and also one that I've grown for many.many years.

There are so many truly striking varieties of this grass, to suit every style of garden and any location, that I think, we could be kept quite busy with this one, while we try to add all the different varieties :D

What do you think of this one - Miscanthus Zebrinus or Zebra Grass

miscanthus zera 1.jpg


miscanthus zebrinus.jpg


Miscanthus2 zebra.JPG


It is probably, one of the most popular Miscanthus partly due to its unusual foliage and burgundy colored plumes, but also because this grass will happily grow in both sun and part shade, and for those who are looking for something smaller, there is a now a dwarf variety that goes by the cute name of 'Little or Baby Zebra'
 
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Zebra Grass is very decorative, I totally agree, but at the same time it reminds me a little of thin, green snakes:eek:. Snakes terrify me. But, again, I have wild imagination.
'Little or Baby Zebra' is the most adorable name ever:)
How about Bunny Tails?

54537.jpg


It comes in white too:

520e74de542e5_59305n.jpg
 
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Claudine

As Zebra Grass is a favorite of mine, am going to try and forget that you said it reminds you of snakes, as I too have a very vivid imagination and am terrified of snakes, which both often cause me a bit of a problem, as I often see them slithering around whilst gardening - sometimes too close for comfort :eek:

I love the cute names many of the grasses have and particularly ' Bunny Tails' but if calling these grasses by their common names it could become a little confusing, as their are actually two different types of grass called 'Bunny Tail Grass'. The one I that I think is the most deserving of its name, is the one in your last picture, which is called Lagurus Ovatus like this one here

bunny_tail_grass.jpg


which got its name because the blooms are so soft and fluffy, that when you touch them - they feel just like rabbit tails :)
The other grass called called 'Bunny Tails' is the one in your first picture which is Pennisetum Messiacum like the one here called ' Red Bunny Tails '

bunny tails red .JPG


which although the blooms are soft, they are nowhere near as soft as the ones on Lagurus Ovatus - but both look equally attractive in any garden.

As we are talking about grasses with cute names, how about this new dwarf Miscanthus or Maiden Grass called ' Little Kitten '

Miscanthus sin.'Little Kitten'.jpg


miscanthus ' little kitten'.jpg
 
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If you like colorful grasses and are looking for something really stunning that doesn't get too big and that changes color through the seasons, don't think you would go too far wrong in choosing one of these very colorful varieties of Switchgrass or Panicum Virgatum

panicum cheyenne sky0.jpg


panicum shenandoah-switch.jpg


This is 'cheyenne sky'

Panicum cheyenne sky.jpg


' Prairie Fire '

panicum 3jpg.jpg


and ' Shenandoah '

panicum-shenandoah.jpg


Switchgrass or Panicum Virgatrum is defenitly an eye catcher and comes in a wide range of colors,some of which are even more amazing than the ones shown here.
 
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Swichgrass is beautiful!:) I think that I like "Prairie Fire" the most. Its red leaves look very decorative.
Here is Prairie Dropseed, I find it lovely, it's so delicate, almost like lace:

Prairie_Dropseed1.JPG


001.JPG
 
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Definitely agree with you there, Switchgrass is very attractive and some of those colors are real head turners, and although I like them all, think 'Shenandoah' is probably my favorite.

Think the Prairie seed grass is very attractive with its delicate lacy plumes and silvery hue, but for me it has a slightly untidy look about it and would normally prefer something a little more well defined and with colored seed heads like these Miscanthus Sinensis

Gracillimus with its dark plum seed heads

miscanthus_sinensis_gracillimus_70550-1_web.jpg


and the very dark almost burgundy ones of 'Malepartus'

miscanthus malepartus.jpg


and for silvery plumes I love this one called 'Silberfeder' because the silvery seed heads glisten in early evening light.

miscanthus silberfederjpg.jpg


Miscanthus_sinensis__Silberfeder_-122885.jpg
 
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Thanks to everyone who posted the photos, very nicely done. I have yet to grow ornamental grasses but I am considering it. I am looking around for the native varieties because the non-natives have become invasive where I live and I don't want to be a part of the problem.
 
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Thank you firelily and we've only just begun - there are still many more varieties yet to come.

Most ornamental grasses would not be considered invasive but of course there are always a few black sheep, and of the grasses shown so far - the least likely to be invasive anywhere would be - Miscanthus. most of the Pennisetums and the colored Panicum Virgatrum but if looking for something on a smaller scale the following grass would be a very good choice.

Hakonechloa Macra ' Aureola 'otherwise known as Japanese Forest Grass, which is one of those the stunning of grasses that looks good almost anywhere, and always manages to captivate people with its fluffy look, which seems to make everyone want to run their fingers through its leaves or stroke it :D and looks particularly striking when planted with purple leaved plants like this one - complimenting the purple foliage of Heuchera 'Dark Secret'


hakonechchloa with heruchera dark secret.jpg


or in a container

HakonechloamacraAureola280403-7.jpg


or planted directly into the ground

Hakonechloa Aureola-02.jpg


or this colored one called Hakonechloa Macra ' Naomi '

Hakonechloa_macra_Naomi_.jpg


which is one thats certainly worth looking out for in 2014
 
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I am in Awe, with all the beautiful pictures. These are some great looking plants. They add such a peaceful look. They remind me of a gracing choir, elevating their voices up in Heaven.

This is a great thread.
 

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